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Public dialogue on the ethics of location data

A partnership with Traverse, the Geospatial Commission and Sciencewise to understand public perspectives on the responsible use of location data.

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Linking location data with other data about people and the world offers important insights and supports new services that can improve how people work, live and travel. Alongside these new data applications and opportunities, there are emerging privacy and ethical considerations. To continue to benefit from the widespread use of location data, it is important that location data is used in responsible and trustworthy ways that mitigate concerns and retain public confidence.

The Geospatial Commission has partnered with Sciencewise, Traverse and the Ada Lovelace Institute, to open a conversation with members of the public and gather evidence on public perceptions about location data use.

The Geospatial Commission published the findings of its public dialogue on location data ethics in 2021. These findings will inform the delivery of the UK Geospatial Strategy.

The Ada Lovelace Institute worked with Traverse to:

  • lead scoping research, drawing from our previous work on responsible stewardship of data and public perspectives to data;
  • support the facilitation of dialogue workshops; and
  • collaborate with Traverse to analyse and report findings.

This is the second time Traverse and the Ada Lovelace Institute have worked together to bring public perspectives to decisions about data. In May 2020 we partnered to run the Lockdown Debate, the first fully online public deliberation in the UK. The findings were shared in the report Confidence in a Crisis, which explored attitudes to lockdown exit strategies.

The Ada Lovelace Institute received funding of £16,600 for our work on this project. The project was commissioned by the Geospatial Commission in partnership with Sciencewise under the terms of the Crown Commercial Service Research Marketplace DPS.

Image credit: d1sk

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